By increasing the federal minimum wage by $2.10 – from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years – we are giving a long overdue pay raise to about 13 million Americans, which amounts to an additional $4,400 per year for a family of three. I am proud that my home state of Massachusetts already has taken similar action, increasing the Commonwealth’s minimum wage to $7.50 effective January 1, 2007. A total of twenty-eight states along with the District of Columbia have a state minimum wage above the current federal level. It is time for the federal government to catch up.
Raising the minimum wage will make an important difference in the lives of hardworking Americans across the country. The Senate should quickly pass similar legislation and President Bush should sign into law this much-needed increase as soon as it reaches his desk.
(a copy of Congressman Markey’s post can also be found at http://markey.house….)